Suwanee's 'Art on a Limb' to feature gourd artwork

SUWANEE - Watch out, Suwanee residents: Your ticket to free art could be as easy as a walk in the park.

For the fourth year, Suwanee will host "Art on a Limb," a celebration of nature and art that features gourds painted to represent some of the birds that inhabit the Suwanee Creek Greenway. The birds have been created exclusively by local artist Ingrid Bolton, according to city spokeswoman Lynne DeWilde.

Here's how it works: Each day throughout May, the city will hide two pieces from Bolton's flock of gourds somewhere along the greenway. The birds may be placed anywhere along the trail - from the bridge that connects the greenway to George Pierce Park to the trail head at Suwanee Creek Park - and may include the new pedestrian connection to Town Center as well as Suwanee's new soft surface trail. Whoever finds a piece of artwork gets to keep it.

In previous years, featured artwork included painted clay orbs, paintings on pieces of the old Suwanee water tower, and nature-themed ceramic tiles. This year, however, Bolton - who walks on the greenway at least twice a week - has created several oil paintings of scenes along the four-mile trail. A member of the Dunwoody Fine Arts Association and the Artisans of Flowery Branch, Bolton has used gourds in the past as canvases for paintings of sunflower fields and roosters.

For Art on a Limb, Bolton originally tried painting magnolias and other flowers on gourds, but thought that they were too tame.

"I like nature and I like birds," she said. "I thought that doing birds would allow me to use the interesting shapes of various gourds and to create something fitting to be hung from trees along the greenway. Some of them have real character."